When it comes to the new wave of NYC gangs, police indicate that there are more than 300 crews of violent 12 to 20-year-olds in NYC that are responsible for 40% of the city’s shootings. Much like Chicago, NYC teens are forming new, smaller crews with names like Very Crispy Gangsters, Stack Money Goons, and Cash Bama Bullies. Rather than joining established gangs like the Crips or Bloods, with established codes of conduct, these younger gangs are often more reckless than their traditional counterparts, and the NYPD recently responded with Operation Crew Cut, which led to a 21% decrease in homicides and shootings since 2012.
Kevin Catalina, commander of the NYPD’s gang division, says much of the violence “is driven by nothing: A dispute over a girl or a wrong look or a perceived slight.” To make matters worse, many of these disses are now delivered via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, which has forced the NYPD to step up their game. Cops now monitor gang members’ social media accounts and phone pics, and have set up an internal email system to notify them any time a crew member has a run-in with the law. These 21st century tactics have already led to arrests, with attorney Robert Anesi stating the NYPD’s “evidence was very powerful. They had such access to social media and they knew who the players were.”
Sounds like life’s not easy for an Internet gangster.